2008 Rhizome Commission: Gettin' Jiggly With It


Sometimes our complex relationship to computing can be conveyed in something as simple as a jiggling jelly mold. Artist Rafael Rozendaal seems to have an innate understanding of this, and puts it to work in Rhizome's 2008 commission 'Jello Time'. In keeping with his specific style of Internet Art, this brightly colored animation reproduces the motion of jello through a series of cause and effect relations. By directing the user's movements, Rozendaal demands a different kind of interactivity than other examples of net art. Elementary mouse clicks allow you to break glass (Broken Self, 2007), cause bleeding (Fatal to the Flesh, 2004), open infinite doors (Big Long Now, 2006) or 'pull my finger' (Mister Nice Hands, 2001). It is easy to see why Rozenddal is a member of the so-called Neen movement, a loosely affiliated group of artists who, according to their manifesto , are interested in how machines "...simulate the simulation we call Nature." Accordingly, 'Jello Time' is impressive in its simulation of the jiggle of everyone's (secretly) favorite desert. - Caitlin Jones